Here’s a cool program that allows you to donate to the earthquake relief effort in Haiti and put your old cell phones to good use: Through ReCellular‘s Phones for Haiti program, you can send in your old phones to be refurbished and sold in the developing world. The profits from the phones are then donated to the Red Cross. According to Inhabitat blog, fancy phones (iphones and the like) can fetch as much as $100 a pop.
It’s an interesting idea, but I imagine getting actual refurbished cell phones into the hands of relief workers and quake victims would be helpful as well. Anyone know of any programs that allow you to donate your old phone directly?
UPDATE: Maybe ReCellular’s model is best after all. According to this Global Post article, in-kind donations can actually worsen the suffering after natural disasters.